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Obadiah Ballinger may have been destined to be a pastor from the moment his parents picked his name out of the Bible, a name that means "servant of God." Pastor Oby, as he prefers to be called, is the new minister at Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul Park. He started on Dec. 1. "It was trial by fire," he said in a recent interview, "beginning with all the events for Advent and Christmas and the funerals of two well-known and beloved members of the congregation." He hasn't stopped moving since. In December, Ballinger had a new Web site created for the church.
Being a romantic, it was only natural that Cottage Grove mailman Jim Hunter decided to propose to his wife at the site of their first date -- the Cottage View Drive-In. "He tends to go overboard though," Michele Hunter said last week, as she recalled Jim's announcement on the drive-in speaker system. "I heard Bryan Adams singing our song '(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,' then a man's voice saying he wanted to create a memory with his girlfriend and asking me to marry him." She was stunned, she said.
Dennis Brothers Liquor, at the intersection of 70th Street and County Road 19, in Cottage Grove is hosting a free wine and beer tasting to benefit the Park High School wrestling program from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28. The wrestling program will receive 50 percent of the sales proceeds from select items. There will be a moonlight snowshoe hike followed by hot apple cider and fresh popcorn by the fire from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29 at Carpenter Nature Center, in Denmark Township. The cost is $7 per person.
The St. Paul Park City Council voted 5-0 on Jan. 19 to appoint WSB & Associates, Inc. the new city engineer pending contract approval. WSB was selected from four finalists in a bid process that began late last year.
The St. Paul Park City Council is discussing the possible sale of property at the intersection of St. Paul Park Road and Summit Avenue, just north of SuperAmerica. In a workshop session Jan. 19, the council considered a proposal received from Mai Bue, owner of the Newport Liquor Store. Bue wants to build a 6,000-square-foot structure on the corner lot which would house a liquor store and a tobacco shop. A third bay would be rented to another business. "We didn't make any firm decision (at the workshop)," said mayor John Hunziker.
East Ridge students collecting donations for Haitian relief Four students at East Ridge High School in Woodbury have organized "Hearts for Haiti," a campaign to collect donations for residents of the earthquake-torn island. Tenth-graders Shua Bhattacharya, Vincent Bedard, Melanie Rabino and Erin Yockey will collect donations at all school events this week and through Friday, Jan. 29, Bhattacharya said.
St. Paul Park Police are investigating a stabbing that took place early Wednesday at an apartment complex on Fifth Street. Chief of Police Mike Monahan said police responded to the report of an altercation at 1120 Fifth Street at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. The responding officer discovered large amounts of blood in the complex's common area and in the parking lot, he said. "It appeared that a 33-year-old male from St. Paul Park and a 30-year-old male from Woodbury, and possibly more, were involved," Monahan said.
St. Paul Park City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday for its regular meeting, a day later due to observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The council will consider appointing a new city engineer, and hear from state Sen. Katie Sieben, DFL-Cottage Grove, and state Rep. Karla Bigham, DFL-Cottage Grove. At a workshop follwing the meeting, council members will consider a request for purchase of city property north of the SuperAmerica gas station at St. Paul Park Road and Summit Avenue. Check swcbulletin.com for coverage of Tuesday's St. Paul Park City Council meeting.
Navy Ensign Andrew Morin, a 2002 graduate of Park High School, headed for Haiti today aboard the amphibious assault ship, the USS Bataan. The ship, which left from Norfolk, Va., had just returned from a seven-month deployment in the Mid East, according to Sue Morin, the ensign's mother. The ship is scheduled to stop in North Carolina to pick up Marines, Sue Morin said. "The crew was told to have leather gloves with them," she said.
On Friday, Jan. 15 from 10 to 11 a.m. Carpenter Nature Center in Denmark Township will host a preschool story time about animals in winter for preschoolers. Longtime St. Paul Park painter Mary Larson will display her latest works from 2 to 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, at St. Paul Park City Hall, 600 Portland Ave.